Thursday, November 3, 2016

More bit parts for Israeli Defense Ministry's Avionics Armaments division

Woodstock's weapons contractor continues to send bit parts to Israel's bloated military machine. A recent contract is tiny (only $80) but testifies to Ametek Rotron's continuing commitment to supplying this foreign power with weapons components (see our post dated Sept. 30 for another recent contract). $80 buys the Israeli Defense Ministry 5 annular ball bearings.

Why concern ourselves with such a small matter? Because it reminds us that even in Woodstock, renowned worldwide for peace and love, our economy is geared to producing weapons of war and repression rather than anything actually useful. What can we do about it?

Friday, September 30, 2016

Woodstock Continues To Supply Armaments To Israel's Armed Forces

Under a new contract, dated Sept. 27, Woodstock (NY)'s weapons contractor will send a "MOTOR, ALTERNATING CURRENT" (cost: $7,365) to Israel's Defense Ministry. The shipping address is given as
 ... "Latzad Chimush Avionica" means something like "Avionic Side Armaments" or more likely "Avionic Armaments Section" in Hebrew.

We've reported before on another Ametek Rotron sale to the Israeli Defense Ministry -- that time it was delivered to Israel's Air Force. And Rotron's own promotional materials boast of sales to Israeli weapons manufacturers Israeli Aircraft Industries and Merkava. Since many more weapons contracts don't reach the light of public scrutiny, we can be sure that Woodstock's largest employer is a regular weapons supplier to the Israeli armed forces -- as well as the armed forces of other notable human rights abusers such as Saudi Arabia.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ball Bearings for Super Hornets, still $102 each

F-18s refueling over Afghanistan, 2010
A recent contract of Woodstock (NY)'s weapons contractor is for 19 ball bearings specifically designed for the F-18 E/F Hornet, as you can see if you follow up the NSN code number mentioned in the contract. It's dated September 7: less than 4 months since a previous order for the same item (that time it was for 18 of them, as we reported then).

So it seems fair to say that Woodstock, NY is a regular supplier of this "CRITICAL APPLICATION ITEM" for the Super Hornet. That's not surprising since US forces have hundreds of these busy little planes which continue to deliver smart bombs upon northern Iraq and Syria, and they're shopping for more. Those ball bearings have been seeing a lot of wear.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How to find about military contracts in your community

Some time ago, we posted some ways to look at Pentagon contracts in your community. Here's an update as some details have changed.

Each Federal contractor (military or civilian) is assigned a bureaucratic number called a CAGE Code, which should be easy to find by an internet search. Armed (as it were) with a CAGE Code, visit DIBBS, a Defense Logistics Agency website, and search by Awardee CAGE to get a list of some (not necessarily all) of your company's recent DoD contracts. You can even look at the actual purchase orders and see where the order is to be delivered.

Careful study may reveal which weapons system a contract's for. If an NSN is mentioned, that's the National Stock Number of the item supplied, and another DLA website called WebFLIS may tell you more about it.

For example, the CAGE Code for Woodstock's Rotron is 82877. The example on the right is from a 2009 Ametek Rotron contract (no longer on DIBBS which only lists more recent contracts), dated 7/2/2009 for 3 fans. WebFLIS's information for this model of fan reveals that it's a component of the F-16 fighter aircraft.

See also another useful website

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


That's the name of the outfit in Mechanicsburg, PA, that is the Navy's "master control for ships' parts". When the Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support mechanics need spare parts for the "ships, submarines, and weapon systems" which they tend, they naturally turn to Woodstock, New York.

So in May the bureaucracy spat out something called a "presolicitation" for 35 EA "BLOWER,AIR BARRIER". "The sole source for this item," the presolicitation informs us, "is Rotron (aka Ametek/Rotron)". Our small town, like so many others, ends up deeply embedded in warships and other weapons systems. Are there alternative material contributions we could consider?

One weapon the Weapon Systems Support folks are particularly proud of is the 20mm Vulcan Gatling gun system, pictured here. Despite the reassuringly old-fashioned sounding name, this Gatling is used on the F/A-18 Hornet Strike fighter (which itself runs on made-in-Woodstock parts).
USS New Hampshire

Back in August 2015, this same outfit sent Solicitation SPRMM115QPK61 to Woodstock for a special order -- a "battery blower" for delivery to USS New Hampshire, a nuclear-powered attack submarine made by Electric Boat.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Woodstock sends weapons parts to Air Combat Command

Woodstock's largest employer has some new Pentagon contracts, among them one small but typical piece of business-as-usual (June 1) for 3 fans ($8,817) to be delivered to Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, the home of the US Air Force Combat Command. The "END ITEM IDENTIFICATION" for these particular fans is listed as  "COMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM,COMBAT THEATER". Communications are a vital part of modern warfare, as reflected by Rotron's many contracts for satellite receivers and such like. The US's drive toward the militarization of space is one destabilizing result.

According to a commercial website, Woodstock's largest employer gained $2,603,158 in 79 Pentagon contracts in 2015, making it their biggest year ever for government weapons contracts, which are just part of their business. So a 70-year Woodstock tradition continues. But to put it in perspective, compare the 2015 federal contracts of the largest weapons contractor, Lockheed Martin: $175.1 billion.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Made-In-Woodstock Fans Are Probably Being Used in Saudi War Crimes In Yemen

On 12 April, a Woodstock, NY, company contracted with the Defense Department to supply 3 ventilating fans (for $18,342) for delivery to:
What aircraft are the fans destined for? We have no information in this case, but it might well be the fleet of F-15s which Saudi Arabia, a "fervent user" of the F-15, deploys in its air strikes on Yemen, apparent war crimes (according to Human Rights Watch), with results pictured here in a photo from NY Daily News.

Who's paying? This contract is paid for by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), who proudly tell us that in 2015 they "managed $455 billion in Foreign Military Sales (reimbursed by foreign governments)" so we guess they got their money back from the Saudis.

What about the price? Well, the $6,114-each price tag does seem to be a bit more than fans in Rotron's military contracts destined for US aircraft, which tend to run at around $700 to $3,500 a unit. Perhaps these are extra special fans, or perhaps the Royal Saudis are paying a premium for this abettance of their war crimes. After all, they can afford it, can't they?

We reported last year on Woodstock's contribution to cluster-bombing in Yemen, another possible Saudi war crime.

Super Hornet and the Woodstock Ball Bearings

We have decided to look at a random sample of recent Defense Department weapons contracts won by Woodstock, NY companies.

The F18 E/F Super Hornet fighter/attack aircraft (pictured here with its "Weapons Load-out") flies on ball-bearings made in Woodstock, NY. Our town's biggest employer Ametek Rotron has gained a Pentagon contract for $1,836 (dated May 24) to supply 18 ball bearings for the warplane, which first strutted its stuff in Desert Storm in 2003. We have reported before on Rotron's previous trade in these high-tech weapons components. In the latest contract the ball bearings are priced at $102  each.